Casting has been announced for SAS: Rogue Heroes, the major new drama series from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, made for BBC One by Kudos.
Based on Ben Macintyre’s best-selling book of the same name, SAS: Rogue Heroes is a dramatised account of how the world’s greatest Special Forces unit, the SAS, was formed under extraordinary circumstances in the darkest days of World War Two.
Connor Swindells (Sex Education, Vigil) will play David Stirling, with Jack O’Connell (Skins, The North Water) as Paddy Mayne, Alfie Allen (Jojo Rabbit, Game of Thrones) as Jock Lewes, and Sofia Boutella (Modern Love, Atomic Blonde) as Eve. Dominic West (The Wire, Appropriate Adult) will play Lieutenant Colonel Wrangel Clarke.
The series will also star Amir El Masry (Industry, The One), Theo Barklem-Biggs (The First Team, Carnival Row), Corin Silva (The Bay, Emmerdale), Jacob Ifan (Bang, The Accident), Dónal Finn (Cursed, The Witcher), Jacob McCarthy (The Last Summer, A.P. Bio), Michael Schaeffer (Chernobyl, The Salisbury Poisonings) and Miles Jupp (The Great, The Durrells).
Cairo, 1941. David Stirling – an eccentric young officer, hospitalised after a training exercise went wrong – is bored. Convinced that traditional commando units don’t work, he creates a radical plan that flies in the face of all accepted rules of modern warfare. He fights for permission to recruit the toughest, boldest and brightest soldiers for a small undercover unit that will create mayhem behind enemy lines. More rebels than soldiers, Stirling’s team are every bit as complicated, flawed and reckless as they are astonishingly brave and heroic.
Connor Swindells says: “I feel tremendously honoured to be joining this series with such a talented group of people. Portraying such an interesting man is incredibly exciting and I feel very lucky to be able to do so. It’s going to be an amazing ride.”
Jack O’Connell says: “I’m excited to be working on Steven Knight’s bold and ambitious new project with a brilliant director and fellow cast members. Playing the legend Paddy Mayne is an honour. I can’t wait to get stuck into the challenge of telling this story.”
Steven Knight says: “I’m really excited to be gathering together the very best of a new generation of British and International talent to tell this remarkable story. The people who are depicted and who did such extraordinary things were young, in their 20s, and we have made a conscious decision to cast people of the same age. We enter this project with a spirit of adventure and believe our young and talented actors will do justice to this period of history.”
Karen Wilson, Martin Haines and Emma Kingsman-Lloyd, executive producers for Kudos say: “Steven’s remarkable scripts are packed with charismatic, complex characters, and we could not be happier with the dazzling array of talent who’ll be bringing them to life on screen. We’re delighted that filming is now underway on this truly special series, and can’t wait for audiences to meet our Rogue Heroes.”
Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, says: “Combining a fascinating, little-known story with all the intelligence and swagger that Steven Knight’s writing is known for, SAS: Rogue Heroes will be like nothing we’ve seen before. It’s no surprise that a cast of such high calibre have signed up to bring these bold, brilliant and thoroughly entertaining characters to the screen.”
SAS: Rogue Heroes (6×60’) is created and written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Taboo, A Christmas Carol) and will be directed by Tom Shankland (The Serpent, The Missing), with Stephen Smallwood (The Serpent, Patrick Melrose) as producer. The series will be executive produced by Karen Wilson, Martin Haines and Emma Kingsman-Lloyd for Kudos, and Tommy Bulfin for the BBC. It was commissioned for the BBC by Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer.
SAS: Rogue Heroes will be distributed internationally by Banijay Rights. Filming is now underway.
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